On Monday, December 28th I decided to go to the gym to play a quick game of basketball and to take advantage of my mostly unused gym membership. To be sure that I only stayed for one basketball game I left my jacket, money and phone home, expecting a quick return.
I went to the gym and practiced for a while and then was recruited to play in a game. Since I was feeling like He-Man, I decided to guard the 6’5ish guy on the other team. The game was going amazingly–I scored 6 pts, had a few memorable assists, and was completely dominating my defender; however, the game took a turn for the worse when the score was 9-2 and my defender decided to play a lot tougher. As I attempted to reject yet another one of his shots, he pushed me while I was in the air, causing me to lose balance landing badly on the hard gym floor. I tried to stand back up to finish the game, but I looked at my foot and thought “oh snap….literally!”
My foot snapped into a very weird position and it refused to go back into place. I laid on the floor, quietly in pain and asked someone to get a medic. While waiting for help to come, 15 people from the gym sat around me and stared. It was a very awkward situation to say the least, so I decided to make light of the situation by telling jokes that no one laughed at because they were horrified at “the patient with an ankle deformity.” Thirty minutes later, the police arrived to make sure that I wasn’t the victim of a criminal case and after assuring the officers that I wasn’t a victim of a crime I asked them to pop my ankle back into place so I can complete the game. The gun-toting, badge-wearing, sorta-strong, burly officers began to squirm at the idea of touching my “deformed ankle” and adamantly refused to do any popping.
When I realized that I had to go to the hospital, I borrowed someone’s cellphone and called my mom:
Me: Hey..it’s Geremy, your son. Remember that ankle that I used to have? Yeah, it’s not working anymore, can you meet me at the hospital??
Me: I’m at the gym right now and got hurt playing basketball, but don’t worry…I was winning. They’re taking me to the hospital and you can meet me there if you want.
Her: Okay, see you there.
Thirty minutes later, the medics decided to arrive and strap me to a stretcher. As I laid in the back of the ambulance, I bombarded the ambulance squad with questions that were irrelevant to my “deformed ankle” situation. “What school do you guys go to? Are the emergency lights on the ambulance on? Can you take a picture of my foot so I can post it on my website?” They were extremely nice and answered all of my questions and even used their phone to snap a picture of my weird foot for all of “my internet friends” to see.
I was wheeled to the hospital’s triage department where they attempted to assess the severity of my medical condition. They asked, “on a scale of one to ten, how badly does it hurt?” My response: “…look at it!” They refused to accept a non-numerical response, so I had to answer again. “It hurts 10….no….4….no…6….6.5, yeah, 6.5!” The ER doctor said “okay, let’s put him in THE RED ZONE. In my mind, THE RED ZONE was the place where they put people whose hearts fell out of their chests and arms were completely dislodged from the arm sockets. Startled, I immediately said, “wait! The red zone?! Is that for people with gunshot wounds and stuff?!” They decided not to answer me–probably for my own good. As I was wheeled into THE RED ZONE my parents arrived and I began chronicling the experience with my mom’s cameraphone.
There was an abundance of doctors who quickly crowded me and stared at my ankle. They used insulting words like “surgery,” “fractures,” and “pain” when describing my injury. There was one particularly annoying doctor who incessantly made unfunny jokes at the wrong times. While they were strategizing a way to remove my sneaker from my foot, he says “well, maybe you’ll be able to play in the special olympics now!” This joke was followed-up by 4 equally unfunny jokes.
By the end of the long “night” at 4am, they popped my foot back into place, wrapped it in a splint and got me ready to leave the hospital. Before discharging me with my new crutches, the doctor asked if I had any questions. I said “yes, can you make me walk by 12pm?! I have a very important meeting that I have to attend!” He refused.
I’ve had a few follow-up appointments with my primary care physician and an orthopedic surgeon and the final diagnosis is that I badly tore a few ligaments and have a minor fracture. Now that it’s two weeks later and I can finally hang-up the annoying crutches and begin walking with my new walking boot that I’ve named “Optimus Prime.” It’s big, ugly, squeaks when I walk, and hurts at times but it’s much better than the crutches that I’ve clumsily handled for the last week. My hope and prayer is that I exceed all expectations and recover in 3 weeks instead of the 6-8 weeks that were originally forecasted because I have an unfinished basketball game that must be completed!